News story

Rough sleeping help offers winter lifeline

Housing Minister Mark Prisk said today that the "lifeline" support that rough sleeping services provide are vital at this time of year.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

2 people sleeping rough

Last night the minister visited Westminster’s Cathedral Piazza, a rough sleeping hotspot, where he saw the outreach work of homelessness charity The Passage and the help provided by local hostels to get those at their lowest ebb back on the road to a stable, healthy lifestyle.

The minister said that the services, from an offer of immediate help to long-term support, were a last line of defence in helping vulnerable people, especially as the temperature continues to drop.

The visit was part of joint work between government, local authorities, homelessness charities and other agencies who work with the homeless to prevent rough sleeping and support those who fall through the gaps.

The government is investing £400 million over 4 years to help local authorities prevent and tackle homelessness, including rough sleeping, with an additional £70 million investment last year.

This, on top of a pledge to roll out London’s No Second Night Out service across the country, means that anyone facing losing their home and sleeping rough this winter will get the support they need and deserve.

Housing Minister Mark Prisk said:

“Nobody should have to face the frightening prospect of a night on the streets, and we have some of the strongest homelessness protections in the world to help prevent it. But sometimes people fall through the cracks, which is why we have the emergency support in place to protect them, especially as the winter weather continues to bite.

“The work I saw last night showed me the real issues faced by rough sleepers, and the important role local services play in helping them get their lives back on track. For many, they are a vital lifeline at the most difficult time, and the last line of defence, not only against the cold, but against a long-term life on the streets.”

Published 4 December 2012